accommodate oneself

Catherinezhao

Senior Member
Chinese-Taiwan
Hi all,

Can the phrase "accommodate oneself" mean the same as "give in to oneself" like in the following sentence?

You should be resolved and try harder. Don't accommodate yourself. This way, you'll achieve success in the end.

I saw some friends used it this way, and I want to write this way in my article, but I'm not sure if it is correct. What do you say?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It might be OK and it's grammatically correct, but I would choose different wording.

    Also note that the statement is aphoristic nonsense. not everyone can achieve whatever they want, regardless of how hard they work at it.
     

    Catherinezhao

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Taiwan
    but I would choose different wording.
    sdgraham, thanks for your reply. Could you tell what your different wording is?

    Also note that the statement is aphoristic nonsense. not everyone can achieve whatever they want, regardless of how hard they work at it.
    I just want to use these words to encourage a friend who has been doing something but wants to give up because she meets some difficulties. If this is the context, do you think this statement makes sense?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Unfortunately, I'm not good at over-the-top encouragement slogans.

    I'd just say something like "Hang in there. If you quit, you'll never get what you want."

    Good luck.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Don't accommodate yourself.
    Those words have no meaning to me. Accommodate is something you do in regards to other people, not yourself. You accommodate their needs. It's usually a good thing.

    You want something like "Don't give up on yourself."
     

    snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    Those words have no meaning to me. Accommodate is something you do in regards to other people, not yourself. You accommodate their needs. It's usually a good thing.

    You want something like "Don't give up on yourself."
    I totally disagree; also, your suggested replacement has a radically different meaning. This is a "tough love" quote, not a "believe in yourself and stay positive" sentiment at all.

    To that end, the word "accommodate" is very well-chosen. Yes, it is ordinarily a positive word involving the needs of others. It is intentionally chosen and applied in a valid but unusual way here, as a way of drawing the reader's interest and exposing a nuanced concept. The reader is encouraged to see an attitude of self-coddling as harmful. So why not just say "coddle" rather than "accommodate?" Because it's a slippery slope -- the attitude here is clearly that you shouldn't make little compromises with yourself if you really want to succeed -- instead you should toughen up, focus on your goal, and push through the discomfort.

    All of which packed into one very well-chosen word, the very pinion for the sentiment expressed.
     

    Catherinezhao

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Taiwan
    Thanks for your answers, but is this a controversial word? Why are there totally different opinions? :confused: What would most native English speakers think of it?
     

    snargleplax

    Senior Member
    English - Northwestern United States
    It's a poetic choice of phrasing. There's more room for opinion about it than there is for right and wrong. Most native English speakers would probably need to take a moment to let the gist of it sink in; it might go over some folks' heads, as it is an unusual usage of the word "accommodate."
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thanks for your answers, but is this a controversial word? Why are there totally different opinions? :confused: What would most native English speakers think of it?
    That use of "accommodate" certainly doesn't work for me, but I'm not good at motivational slogans either. :(

    I think, if pressed, I would probably go for something like "Don't compromise."
     

    Catherinezhao

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Taiwan
    Thank you all, friends. Actually, I'm not good at motivational slogans either, but I'll still have a try whenever it's necessary. ;)
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I still think it doesn't say anything meaningful and is unusual to the point of uselessness in that context. If the person you're trying to encourage has to stop and decode what you're saying then it's not very effective encouragement. You want something straightforward, to the point, and crystal clear in that situation.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I still think it doesn't say anything meaningful and is unusual to the point of uselessness in that context. If the person you're trying to encourage has to stop and decode what you're saying then it's not very effective encouragement. You want something straightforward, to the point, and crystal clear in that situation.
    Yes. :)
     

    Catherinezhao

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Taiwan
    Ok, after all this discussion, I think I'm clear now. If other friends have things to share about this, I'm all ears. :)
     
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